Help - mystery bug on turnips and radishes?

secondspringJuly 14, 2014

Hey everyone,

So we pulled off a row of insect cover today and found that something's decimated our radishes and turnips. I've never seen this bug before, but it was all over the leaves of most of our plants (they were literally covered), and they appeared to be present both as tiny black flies as well as what I would assume to be their larvae form, which looks like a tiny white egg--almost like an aphid.

I've attached a couple photos of the flies, which as you can see were covering the inside of the row cover as well. Hopefully it's visible in the picture, but in case its hard to make out, they're quite small (see my fingertip for size comparison) and they have long wings that point back behind them.

We have multiple rows of turnips, radishes, lettuce, and various brassicaes in this same area, so I'd like to figure out what we're dealing with and try to do something about it ASAP. The crazy thing is that they somehow managed to get inside our insect netting. Thanks in advance for any help.

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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK


    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 12:48PM
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Really? I've had aphids on other plants in the past and never seen them develop into these black flies. Running a Google image search for aphids also doesn't turn up anything like my image above. I don't mean to be argumentative, I just want to be 100% sure about what we have before I treat for it.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 1:58PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Yes, really. There are many species of aphid and many are black. They go through various phases - winged and wingless. Some are even commonly called 'blackfly'.

Here is a link that might be useful: Black aphids winged and wingless stages

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 4:52PM
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There is actually a turnip, hiss...

Check the link below. Yours look like they are in the mature stage.

Here is a link that might be useful: Turnip aphid

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 4:51PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Regarding 'treatment'. First line of defence is regular hard blasts with plain water from the hose . Aphids are weak creatures and most will never find their way back onto the plants once washed off. Also, unless, or even if, you intend to eat the greens a bit of distorted foliage isn't a big problem.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 4:32AM
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Aphids, at this time of year, produce live young not eggs. That happens in the fall when winter is setting in. Aphids come in many colors ranging from green to black to orange and all the hues in between.

Here is a link that might be useful: About Aphids

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 5:52AM
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